It used to be easy to justify eating bad food. Whether hungry in a strange town or owing too many overdue book fees to the library to check out healthy cookbooks, we no longer have any excuses, really. Even as marketing has never been more inundating, from Wendy's bombarding us with commercials suggesting their new sea salt French fries are somehow healthy or McDonald's Facebook page pitching us their newest oatmeal breakfast-type product, we have more resources to steer us towards healthy eating than ever before. Smart phone users need look no further than their pockets for a slew of great apps to keep healthy. Here's 8 free ones for your chewing pleasure.
California Farmer's Market Finder
If you live in the Golden State, you have access to more than 700 farmer's markets. This app sorts by date, location. Lucky Los Angelinos have more than 120 markets to choose from.
Not sure if your food, alcohol or personal care items are vegan? Check out iVegan's app that sorts and searches by ingredient and brand. They offer free podcasts too on vegan discussion topics.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
With eco labeling on fish coming under a lot of scrutiny lately, Seafood Watch directs you towards vetted suppliers. Sort by fish type, find markets and restaurants and even upload links to sustainable sources you stumble upon.
Scan product bar codes with this app to grade food items for ingredients such as excessive salt, high fructose corn syrup, additives, artificial colors and flavors.
From the Organic Authority Files
iVegetarian offers you the nearest veg-friendly spots listed by grocery stores, bistros, cafes, restaurants, purely vegan and even brunch spots. Reviews are added when available.
According to the Center for Food Safety's True Food app, up to 70% of packaged foods contain genetically modified ingredients. Their app provides steps for avoiding GMO ingredients including listing of supermarkets and their policies on GMOs, the health risks and latest news and updates.
Search the more than 30,000 recipes on Epicurious for healthy and tasty recipes. Not sure what to do with butternut squash? You can search by ingredient for recipe ideas. The app will save your favorite recipes and create shopping lists too.
What's On My Food?
The Pesticide Action Network's What's on My Food app helps consumers determine what toxins may be lurking on your fruits and veggies and how to avoid them.
Stay in touch with Jill on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jillettinger
Photos: Jill Ettinger and Johan Larsson